By Dick Hall-Sizemore
I subscribe to the underlying spirit of “Black Lives Matter.” I have long been concerned about police harassment of black persons. I am angered by reports of police misconduct and assault during the current demonstrations, both in Richmond and around the country.
As in mass demonstrations of this sort in the past, some participants are letting their emotions get ahead of their good sense. The placards and calls to “Defund the Police” are idiotic, to say the least. Yes, there are dangerous police officers and, yes, there is probably a culture within many police departments that needs to be changed. But, in the anger engendered by callous cops and the lingering societal effects of racist policies, there is a danger that we will overlook two vital truths:
Most cops are good.
Being a cop is a dangerous job.
A story in this morning’s Richmond Times-Dispatch brought this last truth home to me, again, in harsh detail. Two young Richmond police officers were seriously wounded in a gunfight early Tuesday morning. They were responding to a report of an armed person about 1:30 in the morning. When they approached a group of three men, one of the group opened fire. The officers returned fire. During the gunfight, both the officers and the shooter were hit. One officer suffered life-threatening injuries and underwent multiple surgeries. He is now out of danger, but more surgery has been scheduled and his rehabilitation is expected to be long and arduous. In fact, both officers “have a lot in front of them as far as rehab,” a police supervisor said. I would guess that these wounds, especially for the one more seriously injured, will affect them the rest of their lives.
By the way, this incident was reported on by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the newspaper that Mr. Bacon just excoriated for being too swept up in the social justice movement, not once, but twice. It was on the front page on Wednesday, with a follow-up story today on page 2 relating the long rehabilitation road ahead for the officers.